domingo, 25 de junio de 2017


Christa Zaat

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Thomas Cooper Gotch (English Pre-Raphaelite painter and book illustrator) 1854 – 1931
Study for The Lantern Parade, ca. 1922
oil on canvas
51 x 76 cm.
private collection

Thomas Gotch was born in the Mission House in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He was the fourth son born to Mary Ann Gale Gotch and Thomas Henry Gotch (born 1805), who was a shoe maker. He had an elder brother, John Alfred Gotch, who was a successful architect and author.

With his parents support, in 1876 and 1877 he first studied at Hetherlies art school in London and then at Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp in 1877 and 1878. Then in 1879 Gotch attended Slade School of Fine Art with Alphonse Legros in London. Gotch met his friend Henry Scott Tuke and his future wife Caroline Yates at Slade. After their marriage, Thomas and Caroline studied in Paris at Académie Julian and Académie Lauren in the early 1880s. It was in Paris that he adoped the plein-air approach of painting outdoors.

In 1881 he married fellow art student Caroline Burland Yates (1854-1945) at Newlyn's St Peter’s Church. His daughter, Phyllis Marian Gotch was sometimes a model for her father. After completing his studies, Gotch travelled to Australia in 1883. Gotch and his wife settled in Newlyn, Cornwall in 1887. The couple and their daughter were key participants in the Newlyn art colony. In addition to his time spent in France and Belgium while studying art, Gotch also travelled to Austria, Australia, South Africa, Italy and Denmark.

In Newlyn he founded the Newlyn Industrial Classes, where the local youth could learn the arts & crafts. He also helped to set up the Newlyn Art Gallery, and served on its committee all his life. Among his friends in Newlyn was fellow artist Stanhope Forbes and Albert Chevallier Tayler.

In Newlyn, like other art colony artists, he used the plein-air approach for making paintings outdoors. He was also inspired by James McNeill Whistler's techniques for creating compositions and paintings. His style changed following a 1891-1892 a visit to Paris and Florence; His works were transformed from the Newlyn "rural realistic" style to a Pre-Raphaelite style that embraced more vibrant, exuberant colours and "returned to allegorical genre painting".

Thomas Gotch was a recognised success during his lifetime and enjoyed considerable public acclaim. He was a regular exhibitor at London's Royal Academy and contributed to numerous other national and international exhibitions. His works are still regularly exhibited and are often the subject of academic studies. Over his artistic career Gotch was also a model for other artists. For instance, he modelled for illustrations of King Arthur's Wood for Elizabeth Forbes.

Thomas Cooper Gotch died in 1 May 1931 of a heart attack while in London for an exhibition, and he was buried in Sancreed churchyard in Cornwall.

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